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Chance of rain lessens after sunset

Forecasters say the chance for rain in DFW will lessen after sunset today.

The chance of rain drops from 40 percent in the afternoon to 10 percent after sunset, according to the National Weather Service.

Shortly before 2 p.m., radar showed some isolated storms to the west and northwest of Fort Worth. Another thunderstorm cluster was dropping rain in Rockwall County, east of Dallas.

On Tuesday it was just such an isolated storm that resulted in the death of a Fort Worth man who died after he was struck by lightning at Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie.

KILLER STORM

It was one of several slow-moving storms that developed Tuesday evening in the Metroplex, officials said.

Dexter Leonard, 22, was pronounced dead at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday at Medical Center of Arlington where he was taken after the lightning strike, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.

Grand Prairie police were notified at 7:10 p.m. about a man struck by lightning at Lynn Creek Park on the northwest shore of the lake, said Detective John Brimmer, police spokesman. The park is on Lake Ridge Parkway.

Leonard, who had been at a picnic, was given CPR by people at the lake before police and paramedics arrived, Brimmer said.

"They were in the picnic area by the grill, and about 7-8 feet from the water," Brimmer said. "When (a) storm came up, they started packing up their belongings. Leonard was listening to head phones and a radio.

"They heard a large boom and a flash of light and he fell to the ground," Brimmer said. "Obvious burn marks" were noticed on Leonard's head and feet, he said.

Leonard had a pulse and some blood pressure at the hospital, but he could not be saved, Brimmer said.

Members of Leonard's family described his death as a "freak accident," but they declined to comment further.

The deadly weather was one of several storms that popped up Tuesday evening in North Texas, said Jessica Schultz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

"We've been seeing a tremendous amount of lightning with these storms," she said.

HOW DANGEROUS WEATHER DEVELOPED

A stationary boundary, which is where two air masses meet, has been draped across Texas the past few days, Schultz said. A wide variety of weather can develop along these areas, including thunderstorms.

But the recent thunderstorms in North Texas have been isolated, bringing significant rainfall for some areas, while leaving only droplets for others.

On Tuesday, she said, "an inch to an inch-and-a-half was pretty widespread over the Arlington-Grand Prairie area and southern Dallas County."

PROTECT YOURSELF

Lightning, according to weather experts, develops when electrical currents on the surface link with similar forces in the sky.

"Everything on the surface gives off a charge," Schultz explained, "and if that connects with the charge in the clouds, you'll have lightning."

Electrical currents in the clouds try to meet up with the currents on surface structures pointed at the sky like trees, power poles, golf clubs, sailboat masts and fishing rods -- even a person standing.

People should avoid standing near them during storms, Schultz said.

"Lightning can strike at least 10 miles away from where it's raining," she said. "If you hear thunder, it's not worth it to wait around. Get into shelter.

"Your best bet is to going to be in a sturdy building; the next best thing is your car."

But, Schultz added, people who can't reach shelter should get into crouching positions "to minimize any part of your body that is exposed."

For more information, go to the weather service's Web page on lightning safety at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/overview.htm.

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